Dunn County Residents Speak: Board Listened
by Pam Kukla
Stickers with the shape of Dunn County and a large 60% were on the coats, shirts and hats of over a 150
Dunn County residents who overfilled the courthouse on March 10th. The agenda item, introduced by
rancher Curt Kralicek, created such a large crowd the zoning hearing had to be temporarily relocated to
the new county building to accommodate all of the people. Kralicek stated, “It [60% amendment] struck a
nerve. There were young people, older people and people from all over the county at the meeting.”
The text amendment would require that for a conditional use permit to be approved, it must have the
approval of 60% of all property owners within ½ mile of the proposed sanitary landfills and solid waste
sites. Previously the amendment had been in the Dunn County zoning ordinances, but had been removed
in July 2014.
Kralicek spoke first and stressed, “Everyone has a right to do what you will with your property, until
it affects other’s livelihoods.” He continued by saying the amendment would also be a benefit to the
incoming businesses. “It would help a company by letting them know they are building a landfill where
they are wanted.” Board members commented that even if the 60% was added, it wouldn’t apply to the
proposed landfill. “It might not do us any good, but it might help others,” stated Kralicek.
Mark Kovash said not having the 60% approval amendment took away the residents’ rights. He contacted
to bankers who said if he were to try and sell his land, the prospective buyers loans would not be
approved because of a landfill being so close.
Commissioners explained that the 60% could potentially tie their hands or possibly create issues between
neighbors. Board member Craig Pelton said, “There is more than one way to stop the landfill from being
built.” He added the residents’ rights had not been taken away, “I don’t agree because you are here
showing your opinion.”
Safety concerns were brought up by the president of the Dickinson rural fire district, Robby Kudrna.
The beneficial working relationship between the Dickinson rural fire district and Dunn County was
discussed but Kudrna stated their department is made up of volunteers who do not have the training to
fight hazardous waste material fires. “We have chosen not to put our firefighters in danger. We want to
help you, but we are scared,” Kudrna explained.
After the public input, board members passed the motion to included the 60% approval for the conditional
use permit for sanitary landfills and solid waste sites. The text amendment will then go to the Dunn
County Commissioners for their vote. That meeting will be held on Wed. March 18 at 10 am.
The amendment wasn’t the only agenda item with public input. The conditional use permit for an oilfield
waste treatment facility was also discussed. The treatment facility would be located on an existing
saltwater disposal which neighbors a housing development by Circle H Properties. The permit had been
remanded by the Dunn County commissioners at an earlier meeting and after changes were made it was
being filed again. Attorneys for both sides presented evidence for and against the permit.
George Tingo, representing Horizon-Olson, LLC, said the housing developers and homeowners concerns
had been addressed and they had choose a new location over ½ mile away from the earlier permit’s
location. He also addressed the other concerns of the developers like lights and odor from the plant as
well as dust control and increased traffic.
Attorney for Circle H Properties, Kevin J. Kercher, questioned the remand decision made by the
commissioners. He stated the 120 day waiting period before submitting a conditional use permit should
be followed. “We shouldn’t rush to failure,” he said.
In a vote of 4 to 3 the second conditional use permit was denied by the board for the oilfield waste
treatment facility. This permit will now go to the Dunn County Commissioners at their March 18